The Philadelphia Citizen


The Philadelphia Citizen podcast offers spoken versions of articles, deeper dives into the political, social and cultural workings of our city, explainers on the issues of our day, interviews, conversations and solutions. Lots of solutions. All to help you become a better citizen of your city.

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1304 episodes

Velshi | The need for DEI in medicine

Ignoring racial bias in practicing medicine has led to disastrous results in this country, especially for women of color. MSNBC host and Citizen board member Ali Velshi explains how in America, women and people of color are 20-30% more likely to experience a misdiagnosis than White men. The need for diversity training is real.

Apr 01
Let's hire an attorney general!

Candidates for state attorney general gathered for our latest Ultimate Job Interview. Malcolm Burnley introduces you to the candidates and gives you the highlights you may have missed.

Mar 29
Show me the money!

On this episode of How To Really Run A City, our hosts bring on two esteemed guests for an in-depth conversation about one of the most important topics of our time: wealth inequality. After chatting about the recent State of the Union address, as well as the stakes for cities in the upcoming election, Della Clarke, CEO of Philadelphia’s Enterprise Center and JP Morgan Chase’s Michele Lawrence join our hosts to discuss the power of investing in Black and Brown entrepreneurs and getting past safety net politics in order to really grow into the future.

Mar 28
How to live both abundantly and affordably

On this episode from our Ideas We Should Steal Festival, Booker T. Washington, real estate developer and CEO of South Park Cottages, takes the stage to talk about his vision for "micro-communities," increasing home ownership and supporting the urban dream.

Mar 27
Tabletop gaming for good

Philly is at the forefront of a rapidly growing, remarkably diverse community of gaming enthusiasts. It’s welcoming, wonderful, and weird.

Mar 26
Banned Book Club | Black stories in Philadelphia

Philly is not only the birthplace of American libraries, but as MSNBC host and Citizen board member Ali Velshi explains, it's also an epicenter for resisting book bans through the use of "Little Freedom Libraries." 

Mar 25
Is the tide turning on Larry Krasner?

The progressive prosecutor movement is losing momentum. Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner may have to adjust to a new political zeitgeist.

Mar 22
Interview Special | Mark Squilla loves the process

Malcolm Burnley interviews councilperson Mark Squilla about the fate of the 76ers arena, his views on councilmanic prerogative and how computer science can benefit politics. 

Mar 21
Velshi | Kamala Harris' visit to Planned Parenthood

Last week, Vice President Harris visited an abortion clinic in Minnesota. MSNBC host and Citizen board member Ali Velshi explains why this visit was so important, using the historical context of Roe v. Wade.

Mar 20
This community developer is making a real difference

On this episode of Citizen of the Week, we spotlight Tonnetta Graham, president of the Strawberry Mansion CDC. She champions the neighborhood’s history while looking toward a future inclusive of smart development.

Mar 19
Big Rube | From the Black Mecca of Philly

On this episode of Big Rube's Philly, Reuben Harley sits down with Deborah Mayfield of Admirations Hair It Iz to discuss the secrets of her rise through Philadelphia's entrepreneurial ranks.

Mar 18
Interview Special | Former Governor Tom Corbett

Tom Corbett spent 10 years as attorney general. Larry calls up the former governor to ask him about the position of attorney general and what question he would ask the men and women currently running to become our next A.G.

Mar 15
Building our way to inclusivity and understanding

On this episode of Development For Good, we join urban policy specialist and writer Diana Lind as she moderates a discussion about using development to build bridges within all communities. She is joined by Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, co-founder of Mosaic Development Partners; Mo Rushdy, head of the Building Industry Association and member of Mayor Cherelle Parker's transition team; and then prolific author Richard Kahlenberg.

Mar 14
Reverse racial migration and the math of democracy

On this episode of How To Really Run A City, we join Larry Platt, Kasim Reed and Michael Nutter as they sit down with Charles Blow, columnist for The New York Times and author of the 2021 book The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto and last year’s companion HBO documentary, South to Black Power. Blow makes the case for a type of new Black Power movement by calling for a Black migration to the South. The mayors and their guest dive deep into the risks run when politicians focus on philosophical debates over day-to-day issues like jobs and the economy.

Mar 13
What is the Sunshine Act?

On this episode of Your City Defined, we look at a 1957 state law requiring elected bodies to hold all meetings in public. This is so we know what the government is doing. it working?

Mar 12
Velshi | Do not cast a protest vote in November

"Elections are decided not only by those who cast votes, but also by those who don't." MSNBC host and Citizen board member Ali Velshi uses the historical context of Bush v. Gore to demonstrate that withholding a vote, or casting a protest vote, in a general election is a dangerous endeavor.

Mar 11
You know there's an AG's race, right?

The office of Attorney General might be PA's last line of defense against autocracy. So why aren't we paying attention to the candidates?

Mar 08
A wake up call on illegal gun possession

A diversion program through the District Attorney's office offers to work around a state law that treats Philadelphians more harshly than the rest of PA for illegal gun possession

Mar 07
Jason Kelce retiring is...

...actually a good thing.

Mar 06
Believe Trump

We don't need to imagine what a second Trump presidency would be like. MSNBC host and Citizen board member reminds us of the dark history that lies behind us and the future chaos that would ensue.

Mar 05
Reinventing Philly's arts and culture

The pandemic decimated in-person audiences for cultural institutions nationwide. Can Philly’s arts establishment reverse its downfall?

Mar 04
Freedom fighter

Does Josh Shapiro have a winning argument for Biden and the Dems in the fall? Judging by how many are borrowing "freedom" from him, yes.

Mar 01
Erasure and the fiction of America

On the cusp of Black History and Women’s History months, what Erasure and American Fiction say about erasure and Black women

Feb 29
Does AI have a place in government?

Sheriff Rochelle Bilal showcased how public officials should not be using Artificial Intelligence. On this episode of Ideas We Should Steal, Malcolm Burnley contends that, like other cities, Philly can harness this new technology for good.

Feb 28
The Night Mayor will take your call now

Eighteen months after Philly’s first Nighttime Economy Director started, what has actually changed?

Feb 27
Velshi | Michigan's infighting is cause for concern

MSNBC host and Citizen board member Ali Velshi spotlights the civil war raging in the Michigan GOP. "States have become laboratories of autocracy," and what's happening right now in Michigan is a "giant mess."

Feb 26
Judges who meet the moment

On this episode of The Fix, Larry Platt looks at Judge Jeffrey Schmehl’s lax sentencing of John Dougherty’s co-conspirators, which shows that corruption flourishes when punishment meets the Philly Shrug

Feb 23
Working towards a quieter city

Noise pollution adversely affects marginalized communities in Philly and other cities. Is there a way to find peace and quiet here?

Feb 22
Students need a day off to vote

On this episode of Citizen Of The Week, Roxanne Patel Shepelavy spotlights Vivek Babu, the Drexel undergraduate student president who worked to ensure his classmates are granted a day off in order to cast their ballot this year

Feb 21
Therapy through video games

At our Ideas We Should Steal Festival, Pulitzer Prize winning MSNBC reporter Trymaine Lee spoke with Damon Packwood, executive director of Gameheads, about Black and Brown youth using game design as a form of therapy for themselves and those around them.

Feb 20